Foreclosure bills signed into law

Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed a series of bills aimed at clarifying and improving the pre-foreclosure and foreclosure process.

Snyder said the legislation “helps protect families and ensures the stability of Michigan communities.”

“When foreclosures are prevented,” he said. “Homes are not vacated, families are not displaced and townships, cities and counties do not lose the tax base provided by homeownership.”

One bill requires lenders to provide written notice which includes a list of housing counselors when foreclosure proceedings begin so that homeowners can receive immediate advice on their unique situation.

Other parts of the legislation provide additional time and mechanisms for homeowners to potentially arrange for loan modifications in order to prevent foreclosure.

These modifications may include interest rate reduction, principal forbearance and other modifications designed to make monthly payments more affordable, Snyder said.

The legislation also removes the mandate to publish pre-foreclosure notices in newspapers to help prevent homeowners from being solicited by foreclosure rescue and mortgage modification scams.

Another measure clarifies that the redemption period of one year is for property used for agricultural purposes.

“This legislative package provides Michigan homeowners with a set of tools to help them stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure,” said Kevin Clinton, commissioner of the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation.